India’s poor showing in South Africa has seen Virat Kohli come under a lot of pressure from fans and media alike. The Indian skipper talked a big game ahead of the series, but was left red faced after his much vaunted batting line-up faltered in the first two tests.
Ravi Shastri recently said that India should have come earlier and play a couple of warm-up matches in South Africa.
“In hindsight I would say another 10 days of practice here would have made a difference. But that’s no excuse. The pitch we play on, it’s the same for both sides, and I would rather focus on the 20 wickets we have taken. That has given us a chance in both Test matches to win games. If our top order can fire, it will be a good Test match,” Shastri told reporters on the eve of the final Test at the Wanderers.
“Whether you need a bowler with bounce or you need a bowler with swing, so that’s where the chopping and changing starts,” he added.
Shastri also defended the omission of Ajinkya Rahane from the first two tests.
“If Ajinkya (Rahane) had played the first Test and not done well, you would have asked me the same question about why Rohit hasn’t played. Rohit played, he didn’t do well, so you are asking me why Ajinkya didn’t play,” a defiant Shastri told reporters when queried about the selection policy.
But Kohli has not agreed with his coach, as he feels that India had enough time.
“I personally don’t feel that we didn’t feel prepared starting this series. I won’t sit here and point that out after losing a Test series. We had a week to prepare ourselves, five days because one day we were travelling,” Kohli said ahead of the third Test starting tomorrow.
“So we had that and we went ahead with that. As I said, we are not going to sit and think of outside factors that made us lose. It was our errors, our mistakes of not capitalising on situations that led us to the result being 2-0 so far,”
“Responsibility isn’t just one-sided. I think it’s a collective responsibility of every one and those aspects (of preparing early) are and have been a point of consideration for a while,” said the skipper.
“As a captain as well, you want to proudly do better in situations when the game has gone away from you at times. So, I have thought about those things as well how you can still keep the pressure on and not let the game slip away in very quick time,” he said.
“I always keep thinking about my game, how I can learn as a captain and get better in every aspect of what I do. Even focusing on the positives, you need to be able to still work on your positives to be able to be a consistent international player over a period of time. I have never stopped learning and I will never stop learning.”